Filmmakers are full of prejudices. We journalists are too, just like you readers. The crucial thing is to recognize our shortcomings.
Films can be a bridge between people. A good one even gives you a feeling of being there – as is often the ambition of the genre this festival gets its name from. But nothing beats the experience of really going to a place yourself.
The making of Nisimazine is not only about seeing eye-opening films. It also brings a trans-European editorial to new exciting places. With only a week in Tehran behind us, we still stumble on a few prejudices, but thanks to our real life Iranian experiences, every day new nuances are added to our palettes.
In Mahvash Sheikhol Eslami’s new documentary Second Home (screened on Sunday at the festival) Iran’s potential as a tourist country is highlighted. “Hospitality had to be redefined after I came to Iran”, says a Mexican woman in the film, and I can only agree. Unfortunately travelling is the luxury of few.
When it comes to filmmaking, despite the digital revolution, in a global perspective most people never get to tell their own story. However, by involving a film’s subjects in the filmmaking process itself, they tend to be portrayed less stereotypically. Pioneering director Jean Rouch used this participatory approach already in the 50s, as told in Friends, Fools, Family (see page 4).